The ability to store urine in the bladder and to void at an appropriate time depends on several complex mechanisms in the lower urinary tract (LUT) and its neural control. Normal LUT function requires coordination of the urinary bladder, urethra, pelvic floor, efferent and afferent neurons and specific spinal cord and brain areas. These structures can be visualised using different imaging modalities, such as ultrasound, X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging. The supraspinal neural control of the LUT can be studied using functional brain imaging. During the last two decades, the many technological improvements of these imaging techniques have increased our knowledge of voiding dysfunction. Here, we review the different imaging modalities of the LUT and its neural control and discuss their importance for diagnosing and understanding voiding dysfunction.
- Brain bladder control
- Lower urinary tract dysfunction
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Urinary bladder